Case Study: Twentyseven Global Launches Cloud-Hosted Application Using Modern Web Design on Open Source Platform for Education Startup Real Life 101

Summary

Kansas City and Denver mobile and software development company Twentyseven Global aided education startup Real Life 101 in launching a cloud-hosted application on an open source platform with modern web design. Real Life 101 asked Twentyseven Global to help them launch an online course called Personal Finance 101 which teaches important life skills to young adults. The portal designed by Twentyseven Global allows teachers to manage their virtual classrooms with ease and for students to interact with instructors at home.

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About Real Life 101

Real Life 101 was started to help teach important life skills to young adults. Beginning with live events, the company quickly transitioned to an online platform to provide more information on a wider range of topics to a greater number of people. Real Life 101 also designs customized programs for institutions of higher education (2- or 4-year schools), community groups, corporate events and non-profit organizations.

How Twentyseven Global Assisted Real Life 101

Real Life 101 realized that the curriculum in the traditional classroom did not allow for the teaching of important life skills due to state-regulated benchmarks and time constraints. They also saw that most teachers were not formally trained on life skill courses, such as personal finance, meaning students did not receive a comprehensive education. Real Life 101 saw a problem to be solved with an online personal finance course that could be completed outside of the classroom and taught by a financial expert.

Creighton O’Neal, vice president of Twentyseven Global Denver, said, “Twentyseven Global loves to work with startups and Real Life 101 had a clear vision for their product. To deliver their product with a modern web architecture on an open source platform was right in our sweet spot. Our goal was to produce a learning management system to the client that met their functional and design specifications. In addition, we wanted to build them a fully scalable solution so their business can grow without technological limitations.”

O’Neal explained some of the work Twentyseven Global did with Real Life 101:

  • Continued to enhance the Learning Management System.
  • Created an administrative portal to add users, districts and schools; view reports; manage, add or edit classes; and view the course.
  • Created a teacher portal to manage students, view the course, view an activity report and manage classes.
  • Created a student portal to take the course and use an interactive course map to keep track of their progress.
  • Made the course intuitive and reflected the look and feel of the Real Life 101 brand.
  • Designed and built the new screens.
  • Setup production environment.
  • Documented the configuration of the software.
  • Enhanced the course user interface.

Challenges

Sara Allison, co-founder of Real Life 101, explained that the startup had a difficult time finding the right development team that was easy to work with and that fit their budget before working with Twentyseven Global. Allison said, “Twentyseven Global is professional, you can trust them and they manage the development process very well. We’ve been burned a few times but it was so nice to work with a team that ‘just gets it’. We have learned that we can trust Twentyseven Global to deliver a product that matches our expectations.”

For the team at Twentyseven Global, encompassing all of the factors of the course into a comprehensive development plan was the primary challenge. O’Neal said, “Our team had to carefully think through all of the possible use cases and document each of these so that the development team clearly understood the expected behaviors.”

The Software Development Result

The Personal Finance 101 course that Twentyseven Global launched for Real Life 101 hits all of the requirements made by both businesses. The course guides students through the chapter content from a Road Map, which covers the main points and helps them understand their progress. The course is designed to be fluid so as to easily adapt to changes. Real Life 101 plans on developing future courses, such as College 101 and Careers 101, to provide new opportunities to help students become more successful.

About Twentyseven Global

Twentyseven Global is a global software engineering company with offices in Kansas City and Denver. The company has a Microsoft Silver Competency achievement and is part of the five percent of partners worldwide to earn the title. The firm combines experienced on-site leadership with a network of offshore delivery centers to produce exceptional results. The local teams are comprised of professionals with proven track records at software companies and leading systems integration firms. Twentyseven Global’s offshore development centers have been in business an average of 15 years, providing outstanding software development skills in locations chosen for their cost-effectiveness, stability, availability of English language skills and ability to work with the American culture.

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